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10 Questions with John Machacek

John Machacek, Chief Innovation Officer for the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation, has worked with countless startups throughout our community over the past nine years. He knows their ups, and their downs, but most of all, he knows the questions to ask them. Here are John Machacek’s 10 questions for Aaron Halik, Founder of Trimyxs.

#1 What is your Trimyxs elevator pitch?

The Trimyxs offers a superior approach to traditional trimming and edging. The Trimyxs is the first ever universal push lawn mower attachment that allows consumers to not only mow their lawn, but also trim/edge all at the same time. This previously time-consuming chore is now made simple with the push of a trigger.

#2 Yes! I despise weed-eating after I cut the grass, and basically avoid it. This is definitely for me. This feels like what should be a “last question” but I’ll just ask now—where can we currently buy these?

The Trimyxs is currently available on our website, Amazon, and Northern Tool (; but we are in the works with other retailers, so you may be seeing Trimyxs in more stores near you in the future.

#3 Having assisted you this past year to help you attain a microloan from our GFMEDC Growth Initiative Fund, I know that you had bootstrapped the startup to date, assembled a good inventory of your manufactured product, and were growing sales and sales relationships. How has this recent injection of financing helped your next stage?

Not only did the funding help us invest in hiring a marketing person and a graphic designer, but it also allowed us to participate as a vendor in the National Hardware Show (NHS) in Las Vegas. To say this show was incredible would be an understatement. By attending NHS, the trajectory of Trimyxs has changed and in the most positive way. We also used this funding to attend the Home and Garden Show in Minneapolis. By attending the show, we hit 75% of our total sales in 2022 within four days. Additionally, we will be shooting a video production in Florida for an endorsement deal connected with streaming and broadcast channels.

#4 That’s great to hear. How important are tradeshows, like the NHS you mentioned, in your industry?

Originally, I assumed all the tradeshows in the industry were very similar. I saw them as a way to receive feedback on your product and give buyers a chance to look at your product firsthand, essentially, planting the relationship seed with them. However, I was wrong as there is so much more to these shows. These shows have manufacturers, sales reps, buyers, and others involved with lawn and garden partnerships. You learn so much more about the industry by attending the shows and developing relationships. Some examples include how private labeling works, what retailers are expecting for terms and discounts in product partnerships, and so much more. As I mentioned, we have been to the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas and most recently the MN Home & Garden Show in Minneapolis. It has been so humbling to hear all the good feedback and excitement over this product I have created. At NHS we were in the New Product section. We also were selected two times during the show to be featured as a Top 5 New Product. This allowed us the opportunity to present on stage and pitch our product.

Additionally, the landscaping influencer Dirt Monkey (@Dirtmonkey on YouTube, Instagram, and @dirtmonkeyforce on TikTok) and Toolsinaction (@toolsinaction on Instagram and selected the Trimyxs to feature. The tradeshows we have attended so far have been invaluable experiences and well worth the investment. All of this traction we have gained by attending tradeshows has led to significant discussions and opportunities with big box stores.

#5 It sounds like you learned a ton and made some great connections. What are some things that stand out and/or surprised you to learn about in this process so far?

This whole experience has been quite the learning curve. Every conversation I have, I am learning something new. Something that really stands out to me is there is not one direction to go in when starting a business; there are so many avenues and each has pros and cons, so keeping an open mind when it comes to sales channels has really been a learning curve for me. For example, manufacturing versus private labeling versus retail versus e-commerce versus trade shows— there are so many different avenues to explore when trying to produce and sell a product. Probably the biggest learning experience to date was the patent process. Going into building my business, I did not know a single thing about the process of obtaining a patent. I had a very low budget, so I reached out and worked with LegalCORPS for some advice early on, which helped assess bids from patent attorneys that I had received. Connecting with the correct patent attorney is vital as you file for a provisional patent and then eventually a utility patent.

#6 From what I know from working with you since late 2021, it doesn’t surprise me that you have dove into the learning process of all of this. I’ve been very impressed with how organized and thorough you are with your drive and commitment, as well as your combined engineering and sales skills. For the readers, do you have any tips or systems you use to stay so organized and efficient in your work?

For me, keeping organized as a business owner is critical. It has been quite a learning process figuring out what works best for not only me but also the team as I add employees to the Trimyxs family. I have used Google Drive for absolutely everything, as I can access the drive anywhere at any time as opposed to something saved on a desktop where you can only access it when you are at a certain computer. I have developed a nice organized system with folders such as Marketing, Manufacturing, Contracts, Legal, Sales, etc. Same thing with my emails; I organize them based on the subject and if the email requires follow up, I leave it on unread or flag it so that I make sure I take the action required. Additionally, I utilize my Google calendar and send texts to myself as reminders. Lately, I am now focusing on the efficiency of my time, as Trimyxs continues to heat up. I realize how valuable time is to get work done, but also to keep balance in my life. I’ve been working hard on training myself to set a limit on the time I spend doing tasks, such as not overthinking an email response or spending too much time to make something absolutely perfect. This is a skill that I will continue to perfect moving forward in my business endeavors.

Where is TRMYXS?

#7 I imagine it has also been useful to bring on help for additional time and talents. Your dad is helping, correct?

When first launching a new product, you wear every single hat, which is actually really important because you will learn all the processes of your business and absolutely everything that goes into creating a business— such as branding, logo, creating a business entity, intellectual property, prototyping, designing, manufacturing, graphic design, marketing, assembly, logistics, financials, sales, taxes, etc. But there does come a point where you realize you really can’t do it all and need to find the right people you can collaborate with that excel in certain skill sets that you feel confident in handing over. As the creator of any brand or product, you know the product best and essentially it becomes your “baby,” so handing over the trust that it will get done the way you would do it precisely is a little more difficult than I originally thought it would be. But, I am really lucky that my dad has been such a mentor throughout my life both personally and in business. At first, my dad’s role was as an investor but as we were gaining traction, he really stepped up to help out, which is very beneficial with his retail and financial knowledge. Plus, it’s wonderful to have your dad partnering with you and sharing this experience together.

#8 As we get close to the end of this interview, I want to be sure to talk about your TikTok presence. You’ve done well with over 14,000 followers, 270,000ish likes, and with typical videos producing several thousand views to some videos getting 100,000, 300,000, 1 million and almost 6 million views. What has your strategy been with this?

TikTok is the number one social media platform, where videos can hit million plus views in 3-4 days regardless of the number of actual followers you have. We’ve hired my wife’s best friend to manage our TikTok social media which has helped organize and stay on top of our postings. We aim for 3-4 videos per week, as the biggest tip is to post frequently and to be consistent with your messaging and activity. Hashtags are extremely important as well for people to come across your profile, but also it’s a great way to connect all your videos together for searches. It seems to be that one of five posts will hit at least 500,000 views, which is a lot of traction, and, on top of that, people commenting, asking questions, and making their way to your website. I have prerecorded a bunch of videos over this past summer and have quite the inventory of clips to cut and create later on as we need. It seems as though whenever we hit 500,000 views, we see an uptick in the calls and emails from all over the world asking about the product. We are now working towards converting all this traction and user activity into product sales.

#9 If you could go back in time to Aaron from several years ago, what hindsight advice would you give yourself?

As cliche as it sounds, I don’t think I would go back and change anything. I feel that I have kept true to my number one piece of advice which is keeping an open mind and exploring all avenues. My number one piece of advice to anyone starting a business or that has an interest in becoming an entrepreneur is to have a strong work ethic and mental toughness. There will be plenty of days when you feel defeated, but pushing past those negative thoughts is where the biggest growth will happen. Additionally, obtaining a work-life balance is incredibly important. Taking time for yourself and what you enjoy, while also enjoying the company of family and friends.

#10 Lastly, what can we do as a community to help Trimyxs succeed?

The community can help support Trimyxs by purchasing our product, spreading word to friends, family, neighbors, rating our product, reviewing our product, and sharing our social media links and videos. The amount of support I have received from the Fargo-Moorhead community has been remarkable. I am so fortunate to live in such a supportive area. With that being said, I want to do anything possible to give back to the future entrepreneurs of the Fargo-Moorhead community. I am happy to share any advice and insight to anyone who is interested. Feel free to reach out to me at [email protected]

About John

John Machacek has been helping local startups with the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation since prior to his position with the GFMEDC. Before joining the team, Machacek was the VP of Finance & Operations at United Way of Cass-Clay and a business banker at U.S. Bank.

TikTok: @trimyxs
Instagram: @trimyxs
Facebook: /trimyxs

Written by John Machacek

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